Despite the fact that today’s incoming college freshmen had barely begun the first grade at the time of the 9/11 terrorist attack, students at over 200 high schools and universities around the country took the time to set up displays of 2,977 flags on their campuses to remember those murdered by terrorists on that day. The students were participating in the Young America’s Foundation9/11: Never Forget Project.
For some schools, the 9/11: Never Forget Project was the only on-campus memorial on the anniversary of the attack.
Katie Roche, a junior at Providence College and president of College Republicans, which sponsored the memorial, said that she believed the 9/11: Never Forget Project was “amazing.”
Roche spoke about the importance of remembering the events of September 11 and said, “…Most universities have let that day become a distant memory. The Young American's Foundation gives us students across the nation the chance to honor that day and pay respect in a way we wouldn't have been able to otherwise."
In addition to the flag display, many schools opted to have some sort of prayer service or moment of silence to honor the victims of the attack.
According to Young America's Foundation Program Officer Hillary Cherry, "This year as well as in the past, university administrations have done little, if anything, to commemorate 9/11 on their campuses. Remarkably, students who barely remember 9/11 are now organizing their campuses to memorialize the attacks."
The 9/11: Never Forget Project has been a project of the Young America’s Foundation since 2003. The project was started in order to preserve the memory of all who were killed in the attack, and to be sure that universities are not able to downplay the motives and the seriousness behind the tragedy.
This logic appears to have been rather prescient, as the only other official event relating to 9/11 held on the Providence College campus was a “Soup and Substance” discussion initially titled “9/11: Does it still matter?” Following outcry from students, the discussion title was changed to “9/11: It still matters.”
Before(taken from Providence College's event hosting site):
After (taken from an email sent to all students):
It is clear that college students today do in fact believe a terrorist attack—even one that occurred when they were five—does indeed still “matter” today, despite what administrators at their schools may think. Kudos to all who were involved with this incredible project.